The latest figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that more than 37 thousand residential building permits were issued in the first six months of 2007, a decrease by 24 percent relative to the first half of 2006.
From the fourth quarter of 2006 onwards, the number of residential building permits has always been lower than in the same quarter one year previously. The 24 percent decline in the first six months of 2007 almost exclusively concerns private property. The decline is considerable, partly because in the first six months of 2006 the amount of permits issued was relatively large. Nevertheless, the number of permits issued in the first six months of this year grew 2 percent relative to the first half of 2005. A few small municipalities failed to submit data over the first half of 2007.
Most substantial decline in Utrecht
Over the first two quarters of 2007, the decline in the number of residental building permits was most substantial in Utrecht. In the provinces of North Brabant, Zeeland, Groningen and Gelderland, more permits were issued than in the same period last year.
Amount of dwellings completed hardly changed
The number of dwellings completed is based on data supplied by municipal authorities. Several large municipalities failed to submit the relevant data over the first half of this year in time, resulting in an incomplete picture of the number of dwellings completed in this period. If the figures are adjusted for this deficiency, the amount of houses completed would probably be more or less the same as in the first half of 2006.
Dwelling stock growing
In the first six months of 2007, nearly 27 thousand houses were added to the national dwelling stock: 25 thousand newly finished and 2 thousand renovated dwellings. Conversely, nearly 10 thousand dwellings were withdrawn from the stock, mainly to be demolished. The net increase of the dwelling stock amounts to approximately 17 thousand units. By the end of June, the overall dwelling stock had not yet crossed the 7 million boundary.
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